The passion project

Description of the 7 passion articles and links

7 People have written short columns to put into words the connection they see between the passion of 7 historical figures and the struggle for animal rights and against factory farming.
7 weeks until Easter; Passion games; the Mattheus passion; Passion fruit; passionate love….
What is passion anyway? And what does the Passion of Jesus and the other historical figures have to do with our passion?
7 figures from cultural history: Jesus, Othello, Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc, Calvin, Don Quichote, Mary Magdalene.
What is their passion? Are they alike in the way they follow their passion? Do they all know the double meaning of the Greek word "passion": passion and suffering?
On this page we make a connection between passion and standing up for animals.
Click the links in the names of the 7 figures (e.g. "Othello") for columns by the participants.
In these 7 contributions that are 1 or 2 pages long, you will find more links to relevant subjects on Animal Freedom.

Explanation, extensions and authors

Othello The Moore general from the Shakespeare play by the same name. He fell in love with Desdemona, but became lost in the net of jealousy his adjutant Jago carefully laid out for him.
Shakespeare calls jealousy a monster that begets itself and gives birth to itself.
Jealousy incites murder and suicide.
How can man overcome jealousy?
Contribution by Titus Rivas:

"Duende, flamenco and bullfights"

Isn't Spain even more than Italy, where Shakespeare situated his play, the pre-eminent country that embodies the spirit of passion and tragedy? Think of its flamenco and bullfights. What is this inspiration called "duende"?
Although people recognize the beauty of wild animals, tragedy after all requires that these animals must die for precisely that. This reminds us of the tragic logic of Othello. The same beauty (in a broad sense) of his wife Desdemona requires Othello to murder her in fact out of "love". The Andalusian recognition of real tragedy is given a completely different expression in flamenco. In flamenco, the artist overcomes negative influences solely by creating, and never by destroying.

Joan of Arc

could inspire people into victory. Why then was she eventually given the label 'dangerous lunatic'?
Contribution by Titus Rivas.
"Fighting until the end for all living creatures". The women who devote themselves to animals do so with their hearts and souls and offer all their time and space for animals. Mies van Oosten (deceased 2000): "man will have to speak out for animals".


wanted the best for people. A society in which God's word rules. Calvin assumed predestination; are animals destined to be eaten?
What is God's will? Calvin let the Bible do the talking. Contribution by Laura Tietjens: "Why won't I eat animals?"
Laura put the question to God: why won't I eat animals?
She had an inner voice speak for God.
More about food in "Calvinism and veganism".


lived for the Kingdom of God. But wasn't he lonely? Could he make others drink from the well that quenched his own thirst? Did that or did that not become an agony? Of was this road a way of showing others the entrance to the eternal source of life?
Contribution by Jo Anne Seldenrath: "Miracle or animal abuse"?
Can people in these times, with so much freedom and so many opportunities, not live without cruelty to animals? Do people need it for their livelihood to enslave young animals for their dominion?
More on animals in: "the animal as guardian of human passion" (Ted van Loon) and in: Comments to (Com) passion (Ruud Steenbergen)

Don Quichote

and the windmills.
How is it possible that he is always more than a lunatic who tries to execute a ridiculous plan as a purpose to his life?
Contribution by Titus Rivas: "Fighting windmills or for animal rights?".
Fighting to ban factory farming, is that fighting against windmills?
Making use of "ridiculous" actions that work well for the media. Freeing minks? Stopping the wheels of economical export?

Mother Theresa

had a vision in Yugoslavia and subsequently devoted her entire life to the pariahs in India. Was she able to share some of her original inspiration with others, or did she become an unreachable icon of humanity?
Contribution by Gineke Wayer: "The flesh is weak".
We could basically all do what mother Theresa did for people.
Animals in factory farming are treated like pariahs.
We could all do something for these animals every day, namely by not doing something. Or is our flesh too weak?
Like mother Theresa, who followed the 'little road', small initiatives can have great consequences. Don't close your eyes.

Mary Magdalene

Mary is the woman who is always connected with Jesus. Why is there always something erotic or sinful about her? From whence comes this need to connect even Jesus to eroticism through her?
Contribution by Titus Rivas and Bert Stoop: "Conversion versus Leadership".
In speciesism, discrimination based on animal species, animals - like women in sexism - are seen as practically identical members of their species, instead of as unique individuals.
Mary Magdalene is (taken a certain way) a model of emancipation.

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